Cleitus the Black wrote:
I have yet to play any of the games in this series, but I am fasctinated to know how the written orders work. Do you simply right them to yourself a turn in advance to lock yourself into a course of action?
I've just gotten into this fascinating series. Essentially, you play two roles when you play this game. First, you play the role of the army commander, issuing written orders. You have a limited capacity for issuing orders, and the distance between you and the recipient determines how long they take to arrive. Second, you play the role of the subordinate, following the orders issued by the commander. This part of the game is like a role-playing game in that you're supposed to carry out the orders as an officer on the spot would have carried them out, whether or not they "make sense" at the time they arrive. Thus, if you receive orders to "attack Henry House Hill," you attack even if it seems like suicide. It requires some judgment and good sportsmanship to carry out the orders in the spirit of the game; this is not an ideal series for a tournament.
The interface between these two roles is a system that determines how long it takes for orders to be accepted (or to be lost/ignored) depending on the quality of the sender and recipient and the nature of the orders. This interface is mechanical and out of your control. The amazing result is that, when you're writing your orders, you're trying to estimate what the board will look like (and what your enemy will do) by the time they are actually accepted and carried out.